Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Robert Osborne and the folks at TCM are ringing in the new year 2009 starting at 8:00 PM ET by showing all three movies in the That's Entertainment! franchise, followed by That's Dancing! These are perfectly good choices for New Year's Eve, although the original That's Entertainment is a bit sad since it was one of the last movies made on the old MGM backlot before they had to sell it off due to financial considerations. Still, if you're a fan of musicals, you'll love watching all the old clips of everybody under the MGM sun (including people like James Stewart!) singing and/or dancing. But while TCM are showing the That's Entertainment! movies, I'd prefer to think about movies that actually show New Year's celebrations:

Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine finish their game of gin rummy while celebrating the New Year at the end of Billy Wilder's masterpiece The Apartment.
Norma Shearer dances New Year's Eve away trying to forget about her unfaithful husband in The Divorcee.
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr celebrate the New Year in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and promise to meet atop the Empire State Building six months later, in the classic love story An Affair to Remember.
A less happy shipboard New Year's celebration takes place in The Poseidon Adventure, in which the celebration is rudely interrupted by a tsunami.
That's not the only unhappy New Year's Eve; partygoers in Las Vegas find that they're about to be robbed on New Year's Eve in the original version of Ocean's Eleven.
But even that isn't the most unhappy New Year's Eve, as Gary Cooper threatens to jump off a building in Meet John Doe. Then again, the movie has a relatively happy ending, as Cooper doesn't jump. The Production Code wouldn't have allowed it.
By the same token, Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond slits her wrist on New Year's Eve in Sunset Blvd., but she obviously doesn't succeed. (It wouldn't have fit the plot, anyhow.)

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